Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Retired soldier named advisor to security ministry
BY TK WHYTE Observer staff reporter
Monday, March 31, 2003


RETIRED Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) soldier, Major Dave Anderson, has been appointed, with immediate effect, to the newly created post of national security and intelligence advisor to the National Security Ministry.

He has been re-assigned from the Port Authority of Jamaica where he worked for seven years as vice-president of security, a post recently filled by former head of the Constabulary Communication Network, Superintendent James Forbes.

Anderson, a 19-year army veteran and an experienced intelligence officer, is a former head of the Military Intelligence Unit (MIU) where he worked closely with the police. He sees his new posting as "challenging and critical at this time, for the development of our national security policy and systems and to combat transnational crimes".

His appointment to the newly created post of national security and intelligence advisor is being seen, in some quarters, as part of a broad-based initiative to increase the country's ability to counter possible incidents of terrorism, and curtail the movement of terrorists in and through Jamaica's land, sea and airspace.

Said one highly-placed source in the intelligence field: "The country will have observed that government has placed the security forces on a higher level of alertness against the background of the war in Iraq, the coalition forces' war on terrorism and the recent interception of suspected travellers who have been using Jamaica as a route for their globe-trotting activities."

He pointed to last month's arrest of eight Iraqi nationals and two Canadians who were intensely interrogated by local immigration and special branch police officers, as well as by agents from the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) before they were released.

According to the source, the move was in concert with the new international and national security policy being demanded by the United Nations and the US, in an effort to combat terrorism and identify and arrest terrorists.

In response, the Jamaican government has begun to review certain legislation designed to beef up the country's security. For example, the tourism ministry and the police, acting on Cabinet's instructions, have rearranged security systems at the ports in an effort to protect cruise ship passengers, cruise ship operations and Jamaicans working in sensitive areas.

The latter project is in accordance with demands made by the US State Department and cruise shipping companies, following the terrorist attack on the US 18 months ago.